Everyone always says to me, “how do you travel so much? Traveling is not cheap.” Maybe just maybe these same people do not know how to be cheap, or that people in general just do not know how to travel cheaply. We like to save money to travel, and we hope you all do too.
There is the concept in the minds of many people. “If we travel, we need a tour, a nice hotel, and only 6-10 days to go there and back.” 6-10 days is short. Tours can cost more money, (Even though we have looked at a couple to see if we can get good deals), and who needs a nice hotel like a Marriot when you can find great places on Booking.com.
Sarah and I travel all the time. We make half of what most people make doing the same job in the Western World. We just know how to be frugral, save money, and find deals.
Here are my Top 11 ways to save money to travel more.
1. Ride a Bike
Most people have cars. They drive them to work, fix them up, and spends loads of money to keep them going. Why? If you need a car get something cheap. Otherwise, ride a bike.
Finance bloggers, like Mr. Money Mustache, are extremely frugal and ride bikes.
Bike riding is one of the cheapest forms of transportation. Mine cost me $200 two years ago, and gets me from Point A to Point B. I do not pay for gas, there is no insurance, and I get great exercise out of it too.
If you want to save more money to travel start riding a bike everywhere and spend less time in a car.
2. Negotiate on everything.
In the Western world, it seems quite Taboo to negotiate. Why? You can negotiate on cable, phone deals, salary, jobs, and the business world is full of negotiation tactics.
It is time to save some money. Negotiate on everything. Find better deals. Pick up the phone and call someone. If you need some help Ramit Sethi wrote a blog and a book called “I will Teach you to be Rich”. The book is full of scripts to call your credit card companies, cable companies, and even phone companies.
Stop being a sucker, and negotiate for better things in life.
3. Cut the Cable Cord
We live in 2019. Who really needs cable these days. It is overpriced, contract driven, and you have better options. If you want local channels go to Amazon buy an antenna, and you have channels.
Buy a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick. You just need cable. You have Netflix, Amazon Prime, or any other streaming. If you don’t want to pay for it, get a family deal and hook up with other people to make it cheaper. If you are even cheaper use a friends login.
If you want great entertainment pick up a book instead. Successful people in the world read 60+ books a year. Instead of watching tv, educate yourself and do some more traveling. Life is better not spent in front of the TV.
4. Find Cheap Internet
This is hard for most Americans and Western countries. It is because there are few internet providers, and oftentimes they suck. They also make you pay loads of money.
I pay $15 a month for 60mps/20mps. That’s right I have cheap internet. My friend has fiber optic fast speed of 100mps uploading speed for $10. In Korea, the people have super fast internet and it is cheap.
Look for good deals, negotiate, and don’t take the expensive one because they offer it. I am always looking for deals and saving money. You can too.
5. Get a Better Job
We all love our jobs, or we secretly hate them. Who knows. I love my job. The job I had before was good. It had good pay, good benefits, but not as much time off. My current job has great time off, good benefits, and good pay.
I had to search to find a good job. Know what you are worth, and negotiate to make a great job offer. People say take a job because it is a job. Honestly, that sounds like some BS. I have done that and know that I am worth more that some people may offer.
I had a friend suggest to me to work for Costco. Costco is a great company. One guy I know, went to work there and in four years was making $20-25 an hour as a butcher. Loyalty and good hard work goes a long way. Plus if you find a great job keep it. Then you can negotiate pay and more time off.
6. Travel Hack
This is my favorite thing in traveling cheaper. I use airline miles, credit card points, and search for great deals every where. I like to find cheap flights and cheap accommodation where ever I travel. I am not the biggest fan of budget airlines, but I will ride them for shorter two hour flights.
Credit cards give you loads of points and bonus points when you sign-up. Always make sure you pay the bill in full. Otherwise have some fun racking up points and miles to travel. You can use them for flights and even hotel stays.
In December, my wife and I are using 120,000 miles and points to have a round trip flight to Sydney and back to Taipei. All we had to pay was some fees and taxes. The flights are basically free.
7. Cheaper Phone Service
So many people pay way to much for phone service. Why? There are so many options in the US that can be much cheaper like Republic Wireless. There are also companies they use the big companies networks for cheaper. There is a company called Ting and Mint. You are talking about anywhere from $10-20 a month for phone service. You just need to have your own phone.
It is time to save people.
8. Rent vs. Buy a house
People will have some arguments with me on this one. Why do so many people buy houses? Is it really that much more cost effective? Millenials are moving around so often anyway. Why not rent?
If you do own a house. That is great.
I have read several articles and blogs about renting vs buying property. Yeah, interest rates are low, but when something breaks my landlord fixes it. I have no property taxes, no HOA fees, and my lifestyle is not a sit in one place for the next 30+ years. Who knows where life my take me.
If we are truly being honest, I could take the money put it in a Total Stock Market Index Fund and make a good 8% per year. I like to save money and make some more, but that is me. Here is an article from GoCurryCracker.com about Rent vs Buying. He breaks down the money part pretty well.
Don’t hate me for my opinions just think about it.
9. Cook your own Meals:
So many people spend to much money going out to eat. You can save much more money by cooking your own meals. Just basically buy some fruit, vegetables, and a meat and you have a healthy cheap meal. Live in another country, and go to your local market. Make deals at the farmers market to have great food that is cheap.
It is so easy for us to eat out in Taiwan since the food is as cheap as cooking ourselves, but we do save a bit more by cooking at home. Spend less cook more.
10: Make International Friends
I love this one. So often we do not think about the people we become friends with. My wife Sarah has made so many great friends over her travels and time with people. We now have a small network of international friends. These people will invite you to their country and possibly host you or at least take you around.
We oftentimes put out the same invite to our friends as well. If you want to come to Taiwan, we will host you and take you around (as long as we are not working). Truly, it is a gift. Just make relationships with people. You will learn more about their culture, and be able to bless them when they come and visit you as well.
Just remember to thank your friends, treat them to a meal, and make sure to be a great guest. They are family and friends so we treat them like they are family or friends.
11. Be a Digital Nomad
This one can be hard, but if you can pull if off then do it. My friend Graysen and his wife Jamie traveled the whole world for a year. They could not necessarily do everything based on savings, but they had digital jobs that earned them income as they traveled.
If you have a skill set or even can ask your boss if you can do your job via digital like on the internet why not go and travel. You can work, travel, and have fun at the same time.
Surprisingly there are many avenues to become a digital nomad. Learn something new, make a pitch to a boss, or find a job that lets you travel while still working via a computer.
Any more ideas
There you have it. These are my top 11 ways to save money to travel more. You may not like all of them, but it gives you options. If you think travel is expensive stop spending money, ask me how to do it cheaper, travel hack, negotiate, and make it work.
I love travel, and my wife and I love to save in order to travel more.
Do you have any ideas to save more money to travel more? Just put down a comment. I am always looking for more ways to save and travel.
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”